The mining industry has been avoiding its responsibilities. Since 2015, Mackay Conservation Group has highlighted the need to reform the process of mine rehabilitation in Queensland. There are over 15,000 abandoned mine sites in Queensland. Of the 220,000 hectares disturbed by the mining industry only 600 hectares have been certified as fully rehabilitated. The industry has commenced rehabilitation on 18,000 hectares or about 8 percent.
The the Queensland Government currently holds about $9 billion in mine rehabilitation bonds. Most of those bonds are discounted by 30%, so we know that there is at least $13 billion of rehabilitation work to be done in Queensland. That represents business opportunities for local companies and lots of jobs for local workers.
We have been collaborating closely with the farmers’ environmental group Lock the Gate to pressure for reform of mine rehabilitation policy in this state. Farmers are worried that mining companies will be allowed to walk away from mines leaving huge holes in the ground that permanently drain water tables and make the surrounding countryside unproductive. We are concerned that mining companies will never restore the ecosystems to what they were before mining.
Join our mine rehabilitation reform campaign and help us to put pressure on the Queensland Government to reform the mining industry.